As we launch this year’s fantastic Magnum Professional Practice brief we thought we’d talk to some of last year’s attendees to get the skinny on the weekend event…
When I was applying I don’t think I realised quite how good an opportunity the professional practice weekend would be. It was very diverse; all of the speakers came from very different backgrounds so were presenting from different perspectives.
I keep coming back to the talk about social media; about thinking outside the box and making the most of your opportunities. I work particularly in photojournalism, and the speaker gave the example that it is often more important to deliver the pictures straight away; even an amazing news picture is irrelevant after a week.
One of the highlights of the weekend, for me, was when we were talking about publishing and some of the people there showed us their books. I loved the social aspect of it, too. I stayed in touch with a lot of people.
To people who are applying this year I would say, remember how expensive this normally is and how hard it is to get a place; don’t just sit there looking at the ceiling. Be prepared, make the most of it and talk to as many people as you can. And have coffee in the morning so you can keep going!
I could never have imagined the wealth of insight that was going to come from the weekend. I remember cycling home and just feeling so inspired by all the speakers.
Listening to Christian Payne eulogise about social networking and technology taught me a couple of things; how useful Twitter and Facebook can be for building an audience and for solving problems through the people you are connected to. In a basic geeky way seeing what makes up his travel photography kit was also very cool.
Second, seeing Wassinklundgren's portfolio book was great - such a flexible medium and much cheaper than those old traditional leather bound/individual print portfolios. I'm currently building mine on Blurb.
David Hurn produced a slide which he said was his favourite of all his photographs... oh and it was taken up his bum. It revealed a colon cancer that was later removed and effectively gave him many more years of life.
A bonus awesome moment was pitching an imaginary idea for a photography project to Monica Allende of Sunday Times Magazine.
At the risk of buttering you guys up, it was really good. I felt that the people in the room could go on and conquer the world using the advice from those speakers. With the right idea and that advice, what couldn’t you do?
Michael Mack talked about how you can go and work with an agent, but you still have to do a lot of it yourself. David Birkett said, on the representation front, you still have to put in a lot of effort travelling around and sending things off to people.
Pennies drop every day and different bits of information from different people click at different times. A lot of that information dropped very quickly. They’re just so good at what they do and how they do it that it came across very clearly.
If you are thinking of applying this year; don’t hesitate.
To apply for this year’s Magnum Professional Practice event, visit the brief.
Image courtesy of Magnum Photos.